When I visit the family in Hungary, I try to meet my friends and family members in a short period of time, but I've figured out one of the best solutions for this problem and organized the first Budapest Gastro Adventure in August 2017.
Since all of us enjoyed it a lot, I think it would be a good idea to continue this nice tradition: try foodie places in the capital I never tried before, at the same time have fun with friends and in addition a have a nice walk at the most beautiful parts of the city... then share my experiences with You.
You know, this blog is not based on restaurant reviews and ratings. We were happy with the food served at the places listed below, so I highly recommend all of them!
9 Kazinczy street, Budapest, 1075
I've never tried ramen before so I was so excited to visit Ramenka.
Ramen is a Japanese soup with plenty of long noodles, veggies, meat or fish -or vegan version- and of course ramen stock. This restaurant has a very clean and elegant design not just in the interior elements but the food too. Everything makes sense beautifully, there are no unnecessary items around you and your ramen, this way you can completely focus on 'each other'!
In my bowl, I had ramen stock, beef, egg, pak choi, mungo bean sprouts, naruto, carrots, and wood ear mushrooms but skipped the onions. This bowl is so large, the soup with the rich garnish and noodles is good enough as a filling lunch.
We visited Ramenka in the morning, at opening time, but it filled up with ramen lovers quite fast: this food is so popular because of its great quality, so don't be surprised if you won't find any empty seats!
5 Madách Imre Street, Budapest, 1075
I love to bake my own pizza at home. Nowadays I use my sourdough starter instead of yeast, but when you would like to go out for a Neapolitan style pizza, it’s not easy to find a really good one.
We Hungarians are great bread lovers and most of us are obsessed with big portions as well… I think these could be the basic reasons why an interesting trend started decades ago. When pizzerias spread around the country some ‘great minds’ introduced the extremely thick crust… but as a result of this Hungary didn’t even know what an original, proper pizza looks, feels, and tastes like, which is -if you ask me- a massive handicap.
I was really hopeful when I planned my visit to Igen Itália. They make Neapolitan-style pizza in their awesome Neapolitan furnace made by Stefano Ferrara, and as it should be: pizzas are ready in a minute after you placed your order!
They have some pizzas, for example, the good-old Margherita that you will find on the menu all the time, but they always create new topping variations with fresh, Hungarian produced veggies, herbs, and Italian charcuterie.
You can ask for half pizzas too, so we did this and chose two different toppings: ham-gorgonzola and spinach-ricotta-parmesan. If the weather is nice, nothing is better than sitting on a bench and sharing this gorgeous pizza with friends. The dough and crust ratio is just perfect… the pizza is juicy and the crust is so crispy, exactly as it should be!
10 Madách Imre Street, Budapest, 1075
When you live abroad, you usually miss a few dishes from your home country. I’m lucky since I can cook and bake almost everything in the UK too, but there are some specialties like Hungarian-style black pudding that I really HAVE TO eat when I’m back home for a few days.
‘The sausage paradise’ by Rozina Wossala was on my gastro bucket list since they’ve opened. Kishusom serves premium quality hotdogs with innovative toppings and other sausage variations too. I’ve ordered the “must-have” black pudding, it was served with pickles and a tasty, slightly toasted bun and mustard. Of course, we tried one of the hotdogs too: this one is called CHILI, which arrived with chili ragout, cheddar, and onion heaped on a pork sausage in a yummy dinner roll.
Their outdoor terrace will be opened this week for all the hotdog fans, which will extremely increase the number of available seats, but in the surrounding area, you can always find a nice bench where you can enjoy your hotdog and sunshine at the same time.
Bamba Marha Burger Bár
3 Deák Ferenc Square, Budapest, 1052
The holy father of this street food place is Jani Jancsa -alias Burger Pope among the Hungarian foodie community-. Like his cooking videos and recipes, I really had to try Bamba Marha burgers finally.
The beef they use for the patties and the buns arrive from famous entrepreneurs, so the whole concept is based on quality ingredients, creative flavour combinations. I’m happy that Budapest can forget the junk burgers of the big fast-food companies, and change over to a real, enjoyable burger experience.
We chose the Double Bacon Burger with beef patty, grilled bacon, baconnaise, red onions, salad, and pickles. The burger itself was gorgeous, the patty was juicy, tasty and was not surpassed next to the bacon. The biggest surprise was the dip, hiding in the background: pomegranate ketchup, which is a mind-blowing dip, so exotic and fruity while still having a typical tomato flavour! There is no burger without chips! The pile on the chopping board is a perfect portion, I like its unusual shape flavour, and crispy texture.
Hold Street Market, Budapest, 1054
I really love to visit markets all around the world but fortunately, you can find so many amazing market halls in Budapest too. It’s even better if you can find quality food there, but as a pleasant result of the Hungarian gastro-revolution, there are new, qualitative street food places, like Lakatos Műhely. The owner of the bistro is the famous stylist and showman Márk Lakatos. They serve different sausages, vegetable stew, soup, and other Hungarian comfort food.
This time I’ve tried the sausages. One portion contains two, chosen sausages, salad garnish, mustard, and toast. They have paprika sausage too, but I wanted to try something more unusual so on my plate, there is blue cheese and an orange-oregano flavored one. The sausages have characteristic flavours, the lentil and red onion salads are perfectly harmonized to them and the toast is proper sourdough with a piquant sauce.
If my workplace would be around the market, I would definitely visit them quite often at lunchtime!
Panificio Il Basilico
2 János Street, Szentendre, 2000
Szabi, the baker – as most of us know Szabolcs Szabadfi in Hungary- is a sourdough expert. He worked in many authentic bakeries not just in Hungary, but in the Mediterranean and Alpine countries too, so he is truly experienced in quality baked goods. With this knowledge, he dreamed and created his own bakery called Panificio Il Basilico first in Budapest and now in Szentendre.
I love this little town close to the Danube Bend, I think we all agree that sometimes it’s good to stay away from the capital. Along the Bükkös creek, you can find a cozy bakery, deli, and restaurant and on the last evening of our holiday, we had dinner here, together with my husband.
By the way, Szabolcs achieves very pleasant places at international pizza championships, so of course, we tried their famous Neapolitan style pizzas made with proper sourdough starter. I’ve ordered the Prosciutto Cotto e Funghi and my husband ordered the one with Spianata Calabra sausage, plus asked for extra tomato and spicy sauces, so the staff kindly brought us some.
The pizzas arrived pretty fast, it’s not surprising if we are talking about the real Neapolitan crust, it takes only a few minutes in the furnace to bake them. This type of pizza has a thin crust in the middle to keep the toppings in focus and an airy, crispy crust at the edges to enjoy the delicious flavour of the dough on its own too.
Their bakery shop is quite popular too: before Easter, challah was the most preferred product but we saw many people leaving with crispy bread, pastries, and of course freshly baked pizzas.
The restaurants had no previous information about our visits and
we experienced the same service, quality, and prices as other guests!
In case special service or complimentary meals are offered, we always mention it!